Midnartiis has a sound that puts them deep in Scandinavia. They’re sound is one deep in European black metal, with a ton of atmosphere to keep things fresh. It may come as a surprise that Midnartiis is from Texas, and that this well-crafted album is the band’s first. “With Reverence and Will…” is a showcase in using atmosphere and raw production effectively to create an amazing piece of work. “The Black Orchard” is the opening track of this album, and shows off the raw production. The vocals are introduced here, and while they take some getting used to, they compliment the music very well. This song has a somber tone, and some really nice writing. “Uncorrupted Vales” is next, and has a fade in intro with a really nice riff. The lead guitar is nice, and the somber tone continues on this track. “Cloven Sky” is a short instrumental track that works as an interlude, and while it doesn’t add a ton to the album, the band has managed to fill the time with interesting music. This leads into the mammoth “With Reverence and Will”. The title track of the album is almost thirteen minutes long, and doesn’t feel boring for a second. The writing is solid, the lead guitar is nice, and the pace changes keep it interesting.
“The Icebound Steeds” has an acoustic intro, and is a slower track than most of the others on this album. This track also brings the somber tone in full force, and brings the emotion to the forefront. Next is “Eons and Epochs in Dust”, is a faster paced track with some nice riffs. The vocals on here on more growly than previous songs, as opposed to the more black metal screech shown on the rest of the album. “A Door Once Opened…” is the second interlude in this album. Another couple minutes of soft guitar, and once again the time is filled with good music, and doesn’t feel boring. “Mysterium Tremendum” is the final song on the album, and a nice way to end the album. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album, and features solid riffs, tight writing, and stands out as a solid track. Overall this is a very solid album. While the production can be rough, once the listener gets used to it, the music fits it well. While this isn’t for everyone, black metal fans will enjoy this for the atmosphere and writing.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Sam Hookom